09 September 2009 ORT Moldova impresses Head of State ORT operations in Moldova are set to expand significantly following a meeting with the countrys president, Vladimir Voronin. Last weeks meeting with the Head of State was the climax to a packed four-day tour of selected ORT schools and programmes in Ukraine and Moldova, as well as local dignitaries and Jewish communal leaders and Israeli diplomats, organised for four American Jewish journalists. The journalists sat in on the meeting, at which World ORT Director General and CEO Robert Singer, ORT Moldova President Ilan Shor and World ORT Representative to the countries of the Former Soviet Union, David Benish, gave President Voronin a run down of ORTs long history in the region, its current activities and future plans. ORT Moldova President Ilan Shor (right) and World ORT Director General Robert Singer discuss ORT programmes with Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin (second from left). The meeting was very positive; we are delighted with how constructive it was, said Mr Benish. The President was very friendly and welcomed us all in the nicest way you can imagine. If this meeting is anything to go by then ORTs operations in Moldova will expand significantly in the coming years. Its very exciting. A major ORT initiative which was presented to President Voronin was a research and analysis project to be conducted in cooperation with the Government. We want to invest in vocational training in Moldova but to do that effectively we must know what kind of training is needed, Mr Benish said. So we will undertake an analysis of the economy to identify the five most sought after skills with the intention of providing relevant courses to help people get proper jobs. The President asked the ORT delegation to look into training that will help Moldovans provide distance services, such as call centres. Such businesses can bring vital foreign income to what is one of Europes poorest countries. And, in response to another presidential request, World ORT is already drawing up a proposal to set up a chess tournament to raise standards in the sport. Already, the website at the Kishinev ORT Herzel Technology Lyceum hosts the ORT Intellectual Club, which provides ORT students throughout the CIS and Baltic States with an opportunity to participate in intellectual games a popular pastime in post-Soviet states. President Voronin voiced his approval for ORT Moldovas plan to set up an E-bus programme, a mobile computer centre which will visit regional centres to provide ICT training that these communities would otherwise have little chance of having. And he was impressed by ORTs training for vulnerable women, implemented in partnership with World Jewish Relief, and by how there was a computer for every three students at ORT Herzl compared with a national average of one per 25 students. I would like to thank ORT for its fruitful work in increasing the standard of living and well-being of Jews and non-Jews in Moldova through its training and education, President Voronin said. We share a common goal in using the newest technologies to raise the standard of living. The successful meeting with President Voronin is a further boost to ORT Moldova in the wake of businessman Ilan Shors ascension to the organisations presidency, the position held by his late father when it was founded in 2002. Aged 22, Mr Shor is not only a successful entrepreneur but passionately devoted to ORTs mission and prepared to put his money where his mouth is. He has already donated significant sums to the Kishinev ORT Herzl Technology Lyceum to compensate for cutbacks in the Heftsiba programme and to support a local manifestation of the Terry and Jean de Gunzburg Jewish Education Seminar. Alan Goch, editor of the South Florida Jewish Journal, attended the meeting with fellow journalists Walter Ruby, Debra Rubin and Laura Stampler. It was humbling and awe inspiring to meet the head of state, Mr Goch said. It came at the end of a trip with a jam packed, highly inspirational schedule. The human aspects of ORTs programmes really touched me.